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Detail from showing paintings hanging on the wall of Buckingham House

The royal image across the Royal Collection

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) Signed and dated 1843

RCIN 406010

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Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805–73) painted many formal portraits of Queen Victoria (r.1837–1901) and her family.

However, the Queen also commissioned Winterhalter to paint this intimate portrait for her husband, in which her hair is shown falling over her left shoulder. Queen Victoria kept the portrait a secret from Prince Albert (1819–61), and surprised him with her gift on his 24th birthday.